April 11, 2007
The Giguieres kick up their winemaking

Sacramentans John and Lane Giguiere are stepping up their return to the wine trade. The Giguieres, who retired to Land Park about two years ago after building up their R.H. Phillips Winery into one of the larger and more successful wineries in the country, are returning to their roots in an ambitious way.

That would be in the Dunnigan Hills of Yolo County, where the Giguieres are to expand a 73.5-acre vineyard they retained after selling R.H. Phillips and build an entirely new winery, according to an arrangement just announced by Vintage Wine Trust Inc. of San Rafael.

Under the agreement, Vintage Wine Trust is buying from the Giguieres the couple's 320-acre "Matchbook" property in the Dunnigan Hills for $2.2 million. Vintage also has earmarked an additional $3.4 million to develop more vineyards and to build a 10,000-square-foot, 60,000-case winery on the site. Construction of the winery is to start this fall, with additional vineyard development to get under way next year.

Vintage, a real-estate investment trust specializing in wineries and vineyards, owns 10 properties in California consisting of two wineries and 6,083 acres in vineyards. Veteran wine broker Joseph W. Ciatti heads up Vintage.

Since returning to the wine trade late last year, the Giguieres have started to roll out four lines of wine under the labels Matchbook, Mossback, Sawbuck and Chasing Venus. Most of the wines have been made in leased quarters in Sonoma County. They were not immediately available for comment.

Under the arrangement, the Giguieres, who again are making wines as Crew Wine Company, will lease back the holdings for 10 years.

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